Home: the Most Dangerous Place for Eyes

– Study Shows More Eye Injuries Occur at Home than at Work and School Combined –

CHICAGO (Sept. 29, 2011) Home may be where the heart is, but it can also be a dangerous place for the eyes. More than half of the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur every year happen within or around the home.

According to results from the “Seventh Annual Eye Injury Snapshot” by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT), the most common place of injury was the yard or garden. In addition, one in four eye injuries that occurred in the home were due to home repair or use of power tools. 

Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has declared October as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month in an effort to urge the public to take extra care in protecting their eyes in order to avoid painful and potentially blinding eye accidents.  Eye injuries include everything from painful corneal abrasions, to chemical splashes or punctures to the eye that can cause permanent vision loss. 

“When doing everyday chores around the house or repair work in the garage, we can become complacent about remembering to use the proper eye protection,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “But, we must remember that an eye injury that can occur in a split second can have lifelong impact on vision.”

Prevent Blindness America urges everyone to wear eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  The eyewear should have the “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames.

Prevent Blindness Americaalso recommends the following:

  • Provide effective lights and handrails to improve safety on stairs and reduce the risk of falls.
  • Never mix cleaning agents.  Read and follow all manufacturer instructions and warning labels.
  • Wear safety glasses with side protection or dust goggles to protect against flying particles, and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, many safety glasses or goggles will fit over your regular glasses.  Regular eyeglasses do not always provide enough protection, and may even cause further injury upon impact.
  • Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing.  Make sure others in the yard are wearing eye protection as well as bystanders can be hit by flying debris.
  • Keep paints, pesticides, fertilizers, and similar products properly stored in a secure area.  Read and follow all product instructions.
  • Keep tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced.
  • Welding or brazing requires special safety goggles or helmets.  Consult your equipment instruction or supplier for the proper protection.

 For more information on how to protect the eyes at home and eye protection recommendations, call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit our home eye safety resources section.

Download the press release.